Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review: The Prophet

Prophet by Frank Peretti. 1992/2004. Crossway. 416 pages. [Source: Bought]

I first read this one soon after its release. I absolutely LOVED Frank Peretti when I was in junior high and high school. His books were among the very first "adult" books that I read devoured. I thought it would be good fun to revisit one of his books at least. The Prophet was one of my favorites.

My first thought upon rereading is how much has changed and how much has stayed the same! How what is socially acceptable has changed in the last twenty years. Even how we talk about controversial subjects has changed--for better or worse. I'm not only talking about sin or life choices. 1992 can seem so disconnected from now--when looked at solely in terms of technology. 

Prophet is a novel about the media, about reporting news, about politics, about biases, about balancing what do people NEED to know, what do we want people to know, and what do people think they need to know. All three are important, of course. Sometimes people NEED to hear the truth, need to know the facts, even if it isn't something they want to hear. The hero of The Prophet is a anchor man on the news. Through him readers get a behind-the-scenes look--though it is an extremely outdated behind-the-scenes look--at a newsroom in action. Readers get to learn about what stories make it on the air, and which stories get dropped at the last minute. They get to hear WHY stories are chosen over others. 

It is also a novel about abortion. It is admittedly a biased novel on abortion. Fatherless, a novel I reviewed in the summer, presents alternative viewpoints in a reasonable, fair way when all is considered. I can't exactly say the same in Prophet. Every character that is pro-choice in Prophet is illogical at the very least. That is to say that the pro-choice characters are presented as being so fundamentally in love with the idea of abortion--abortion for one and all!--that when the truth comes out that there are unsafe clinics with unsafe doctors killing women through their carelessness, the pro-choice people are all the truth must be suppressed at all costs. We don't need change or reform or guidelines or safety procedures or capably trained and morally responsible doctors and nurses. The idea of stopping unsafe abortions while allowing safe ones doesn't seem to be a justifiable position in Peretti's novel. Peretti seems to be all-extreme when it comes to presenting liberals. One other question I had while reading this is how realistic is it--I honestly don't know--that there would be vans routinely sent to high schools every week to pick up students and deliver them to the clinics for abortions. This is presented as very routine and matter-of-fact. 

Prophet is also about tense relationships between fathers and sons. Our hero, John Jr., has had a terribly rocky relationship with his own father, and he has an extremely bad relationship with his own son. While he misses out on the opportunity of making things right with his father, he does get a good opportunity to restore a relationship with his own son before it is too late.

Prophet has many memorable scenes. I definitely am glad I decided to reread this one! 

Well, if he couldn't nail down what Evil was, why fight it? Whatever was evil today could be voted, legislated, or judged good tomorrow. Maybe if we just wait long enough, he thought, we'll get comfortable with the way things are. (146)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Monica said...

That quote is true enough! I have read only one Peretti book but I have a couple more on my shelf... so many books, so little time!